Article repost from Jetsetter
By Sandra Ramani
Staggering ocean views, design-forward casitas, authentic Caribbean cuisine—the best hotels in the Dominican Republic have it all.
Bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the north and the Caribbean Sea to the south, the Dominican Republic occupies two-thirds of Hispaniola—an island that was explored (and renamed) by Christopher Columbus on his famous 1492 voyage. While beautiful beaches and wallet-friendly resorts may be the DR’s main calling cards, there are plenty of other riches to be found, too, from tropical rainforests and quaint mountain towns to a vibrant arts and culture scene in the capital of Santo Domingo, whose cobblestoned city center has sites dating almost as far back as Columbus’ time. Here, the 10 best hotels in the Dominican Republic from which to enjoy it all.
1 Casas del XVI
Get to the heart of the DR’s history and culture with a stay in its vibrant capital, Santo Domingo. Brimming with historic sites, restaurants and galleries, the city’s charming colonial district, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is also home to Casas del XVI, a collection of mini-hotels each set within a restored, 16th-century Spanish Colonial-style house. For now, there are four homes available, with plans to increase to 20; each features a different layout and design—one might have a pool, another a garden—and all come with their own butler, concierge, and chef. The most recent home, Casa del Diseno, features a beautiful Royal Suite that can sleep up to four guests.
2 Gansevoort Dominican Republic
While this modern outpost, on the northern coast’s half-moon-shaped Playa Imbert, possesses some of the scene-y vibe and style that define Gansevoort’s other big city hotels, it’s still a place for comfort and relaxation. Breezy, oversized modern suites are state of the art, with everything from walk-in showers, floor-the-ceiling windows, and washer/dryers—particularly handy after days spent working up a sweat hiking to a nearby waterfall, kitesurfing in Sosúa, or practicing yoga in the garden. Factor in the three-tiered infinity pool, L’Occitane spa, and restaurant helmed by a Michelin-starred chef, and you’ve got all the makings for your own piece of paradise.
3 Casa de Campo Resort and Villas
Casa de Campo is more than a resort—it’s an experience. From a marina and polo facilities to three championship golf courses, high-end shops, an equestrian center, a skeet shooting range, and big-name entertainment venues (with regular concerts by the likes of Sting, Elton John, and J.Lo), this 7,000-acre island complex is a destination in itself. (Golf carts, provided for every room, help guests navigate it all.) Settle in to one of the hotel rooms or villas (the latter look out onto the gardens or the ocean), then get out and explore. A favorite onsite acitivity: a visit to Altos de Chavon, a replica of a 16th-century Mediterranean village right on the property that’s lined with galleries, working artisan studios, and unique shops.
4 Eden Roc at Cap Cana
The 30,000 acres that make up this secluded Relais & Châteaux property, in a gated community on the eastern tip of the country, include both resort and residential areas as well as pristine beaches, a Jack Nicklaus golf course, a marina, and, at its center, an idyllic natural forest. Each of the 34 suites feature a private pool, smart tech amenities, and chic interiors by Milan-based designer Marina Nova, while villas up the luxury ante with dedicated butlers. (Plus, all guests enjoy private roundtrip airport transfers.) Though all four restaurants overlook the lagoon, our favorites include BLUE Grill + Bar, which fuses Japanese and Peruvian flavors and techniques, and La Cava, where you can enjoy a private dinner surrounded by one of the best wine collections in the DR.
The Aman brand is renowned for its signature brand of minimalist luxury, and for opening properties in untapped (or lesser known) destinations—which explains why a 2,170-acre swath on DR’s quiet northern shore was chosen for its 29th outpost. At Amanera, 24 freestanding casitas and one two-bedroom villa (each with their own personal pool) sit on 60-foot cliffs with perfect views of the sea and the mile-long Playa Grande below. Play a round at Aman’s first 18-hole golf course, go kayaking or kiteboarding, explore nearby fishing villages, or just relax on the property—ideally with a spa treatment inspired by the healing traditions of local shamans.
6 The Westin Punta Cana
Backed by three miles of Caribbean Sea beach, this resort, part of the larger Puntacana complex, is a big hit with families. Parents can enjoy access to two championship golf courses, a full-service marina, a shopping village, and a Six Senses Spa, while the whole gang can play a match at the recently-renovated Oscar de la Renta Tennis Center or go horseback riding at the estate stable. Don’t miss a visit to the nearby Indigenous Eyes Ecological Park and Reserve, a working research and conservation facility with a network of lush trails and freshwater lagoons, or the Underwater Museum, where native Taino sculptures provide homes for a wealth of sea life.
7 Tortuga Bay Hotel
Tortuga Bay is the luxury boutique option at the larger Puntacana Resort & Club, set within a 1,500-acre ecological reserve. (The complex also houses the family-friendly Westin.) Tucked away in a private enclave are 13 beachfront villas that can be booked as 1- or 2-bedroom suites or 3- or 4-bedroom homes; all have kitchenettes, balconies or terraces, and interiors by famed Dominican designer Oscar de la Renta, who also designed Tortuga Bay’s restaurants and public spaces. (Look out for his expansive onsite boutique.) In addition to access to all of Puntacana’s facilities—including the beach club, marina, and Six Senses spa—Tortuga Bay guests get added perks like personal concierges, golf carts to use anywhere on the property, and VIP service at Punta Cana International Airport.
8 Casa Bonita Tropical Lodge
Though it’s been over 25 years since this lodge was transformed from a private summer house into a hotel, it still retains the feeling of privacy and intimacy. The 12 cabanas feature sweeping views of the mountains or sea, along with spa-like bathrooms and wine coolers that can be stocked (for an additional fee) before you arrive. The meals highlight Dominican flavors and are the perfect way to refuel after surfing at nearby Bahoruco Beach or biking through Jaragua National Park.
9 Luca Hotel
Santo Domingo’s colonial center is the backdrop for this design-focused hotel, where you can gaze out over centuries-old structures (like the first Cathedral in the Americas) and out to the Caribbean Sea from its rooftop lounge and Jacuzzi. Comfy rooms overlook colonial or Spanish gardens—some feature balconies, local artwork, or exposed swaths of the original walls. Food is a big focus here, where menus aim to fuse old- and new-world techniques. The hotel is also a great jumping-off point for exploring the area’s galleries, rum distilleries, and cigar makers.
10 Zoetry Agua Punta Cana
An hour’s drive from Punta Cana International Airport, you’ll find the dreamy Zoetry Agua Punta Cana, a perfect no-hassle getaway. The hotel’s pool snakes through the property and there’s a golden stretch of sand for guests only (FYI: waves can be an issue). We recommend you book the resort’s all-inclusive program, which includes gourmet dining options (featuring organic dishes), unlimited worldwide phone calls, mini-bar and room service, unlimited top-shelf spirits and wine, Bulgari amenities, and even dance lessons.